When Larry Bird’s failing back forced a night in the hospital before Game 5 of the 1991 Eastern Conference First Round, the Celtics looked doomed to another first-round exit. The fact that Bird started the game was something of a minor miracle, but hopes were dashed when Bird hit his head on the floor and appeared to suffer a concussion. Never one to back down, Bird returned to a raucous Boston Garden ovation and led the Celtics on a 33-14 run to help Boston win the game, and the series, over the Indiana Pacers. Said Bird after the game, “I kept hearing the crowd oohing and aahing, and I kept asking what the score was. I had this massive headache on the right side of my head but finally I decided, ‘This could be your last game ever, so you’d better get out there and give it all you can.’” The Celtics pushed the defending champion Detroit Pistons in the second round but fell in six games.
( C ) NBA/Celtics